Media Mindfulness Blog

"Your Name" and the Hidden Truth Behind Yours

"Your Name" and the Hidden Truth Behind Yours

When Your Name burst onto the international scene in 2016, the Japanese anime film became an instant classic. It’s beautiful animation, brilliant storytelling, soulful score, and emotional depth earned it its place in the hearts of fans. The film’s protagonists, Mitsuha and Taki, are an unlikely pair. Two highschoolers living different lives in different areas and in different years, they are linked only through a mysterious ability to switch bodies when Mitsuha is dreaming. As they enter into one another’s lives, they begin to develop a deep bond despite never meeting in person. The trouble is, this ability doesn’t come with the guarantee of remembering. As with dreams, they are apt to forget one another, no matter how dearly they wish to remember. Most desperately, they try to remember one another’s names, the ultimate link to being able to find and honor one another.


If watching Your Name stirred up your emotions, you’re in good company! In the story of Mitsuha and Taki’s attempts to recall each other’s names, did your heart pick up on something very familiar?



Screenshot from "Your Name."  © 2016 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 


In one of the most iconic and high-stakes sequences of the movie, Mitsuha and Taki finally encounter one another, in their proper bodies, on the ridge of a crater at dusk. It is a sacred place and moment that allows them to meet, bridging the time gap between them. Taki had desperately been trying to see Mitsuha to give her information that could save her village from a natural disaster. Their meeting is bittersweet. Knowing that once the sun sets their memories of each other will fade, Taki pulls out a pen and suggests they write their names on one another’s palms.  He quickly writes on her hand, but by the time Mitsuha takes the pen to do the same, the sun has fallen below the horizon. Suddenly they are no longer together, and Taki forgets her name.


As Mitsuha rushes back to save her village, her memories of Taki also begin to fade. When she trips and falls in her distress that she cannot remember his name, she opens her palm. There she sees what Taki had written:


“I love you.”



Screenshot from "Your Name."  © 2016 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 


It is one of most frustrating sequences of the entire film. Yet it is also one of the most moving. Why is that written message of love so heartbreakingly beautiful, even when audiences were hoping to find something else?


Perhaps it is because this is the sequence that whispers of our own love stories.


“…he [God] first loved us.” 1 John 4:19


There is an ache in all of us, a loneliness and searching for someone or something. Like Mitsuha and Taki, we question which it is. Just like Mitsuha and Taki’s moment of realization when they pass each other on a train years later, our moment of discovery comes in realizing there is someone our hearts have been searching for all along! We discover this by the thing he first writes on our hearts… “I love you.”



Screenshot from "Your Name."  © 2016 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 


“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.” – Hosea 11:4


The Lord loved us first. He loved us into existence. He loved us while we were yet sinners. And it is with that love that he reaches out to us in our searching to throw us a lifeline, to bind us with a cord of love. It is with this divine love that he draws us to himself and that place in our yearning hearts can finally be filled. It is with that love that we can finally recognize the one we have been searching for and know whose we are. First, he lets us know he loves us.



Screenshot from "Your Name."  © 2016 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 


“I have called you by name, you are mine.” - Isaiah 43:1


What is our response to such a love? When we realize that our restless hearts have found the one they have been searching for and that this someone has loved us so intensely as to give everything for us, our hearts are moved to give everything in return. This is realized in the covenant of our Baptism. In Baptism, we are called by name into the family of the Lord and into his New Covenant. This is why many Christians refer to their given name as their “baptismal name” – it is the name by which the Lord called them into an everlasting covenant with him. Likewise, in Baptism we are washed with the water in the name of God, Father, Son, and Spirit. We are sealed with his name. It is written indelibly on our souls.


“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:11



In Baptism, the Lord calls our name. And he gifts us with his own.



Screenshot from "Your Name."  © 2016 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 


If you have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you have been gifted the name of the Lord in a very special way. You are his child and he is your God. In this name there is healing, power, belonging, and redemption. And if you haven’t yet been baptized, look for that cord of love the Lord is extending to you. Have you taken it? Are you ready to let him write his name on your heart, as yours is written on his?


"But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,  the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…" - Isaiah 49: 14-16



Screenshot from "Your Name."  © 2016 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 






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